safe: adj., Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost.
When is it that you feel safest? Truth be told, that’s not something we often think about. When we do feel safe, we don’t typically acknowledge it or bring forth an awareness of it. But I want you to think. I really want you to soak in the idea of being safe. When are you safe?
It can be a physical state. I live in a safe part of the country. I live in a safe neighborhood.
It can be a state of being. I feel safest when my heart is sheltered. I feel safest when surrounded by my parents, next to my husband. I feel safest when I feel nearest to the Lord.
Here’s the thing about safe… when your heart is safest, that’s when it’s most at risk.
When I am closest to my Lord, my heart is so lost in him that it is no longer my own. My hopes are so deeply hidden in him that I no longer have a hold on what they should be. I am safe. I am devoted and protected. I am given. Wars may come, battles I face approach, but my heart is fiercely protected. I have a certainty in knowing that the steps I take will give me a better life than I could have dreamt. My heart is considered a treasure, and are treasures not protected? I am not lost.
But friends, loving the Lord, entrusting your heart to him? It’s the absolute farthest thing from safe you can do. It does not guarantee that troubles won’t come, it does push you to see the good in that, when you absolutely don’t want to. It does guarantee that you will constantly be challenged by this world to doubt your God, your unseen God. It guarantees that there are things that can break you, that you care enough about to wreck your heart. Rest assured that you will be pushed out of your comfort zone. There will be a point when blind faith becomes your only path. Your treasured, protected heart? It’ll hurt. You are likely to be harmed.
It’s quite a contradiction. A juxtaposition, in a way. Where your heart is safest, there it is also most at risk. Where you are most protected, you will also be torn apart. I have no doubt that Job was one of the least-safe men to have lived. His life? What happened to him was the epitome of risk. Specifically of risk that comes with loving our God. But you absolutely cannot tell me that he was not safe. That his heart was not treasured, protected. His spirit might have weakened, but it was held by the Lord. And what the Lord holds? It’s safe.
“He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.”
Job 28: 14-17
Those you love, who love you in return? You are safest with them. But you’ve given them your heart, to do as they please. The act of love in and of itself is a risk. But a love like my Lord’s? That’s the most rewarding risk of all.